Foods: Red meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, eggs, seeds, nuts
Nutritional & health benefits: Aids in metabolism, forms bones and teeth, helps build muscle
Phosphorus, which is known as P on the periodic table, is an essential trace mineral which plays many important roles in the body.
Phosphorus, along with other trace minerals like calcium, plays a structural role in healthy bones. Phosphorus is also
structurally important to cells and cell membranes, and is essential for the production and transfer of energy in the human body.
While phosphorus is an essential mineral to maintain health, too much can be quite harmful. Taking phosphorus beyond the daily upper limit -- which is four grams for adults under 70 and 3 grams for everyone over 70 -- can lead to the hardening of bodily tissues and diarrhea. There are, however, some definite health benefits to be had from maintaining a proper amount of phosphorus in the body, not the least of which is strong bone and dental health.
Bones need calcium to grow and repair themselves. However, without phosphorus
the body cannot convert the calcium in to a form useful to bones. This is why it is important to establish, before taking
any calcium supplements, whether or not the body is getting enough phosphorus to actually convert the extra calcium.
Phosphorus deficiency can also result in a number of physical and emotion problems such as worry, stress, irritability, fatigue, and anxiety. These health problems are often subtle, and most people would not suspect phosphorus deficiency as the cause of such problems, leaving the symptoms untreated.
Thus, it is important to maintain healthy phosphorus levels as the symptoms of deficiency, while troubling, may not always be obvious.
For those looking to maintain a healthy level of phosphorus, there are a number of excellent food sources for the mineral including dairy products, meats, and fish. Phosphorus is, however, essential to virtually all forms of life and for that reason is found in most foods in some amount.
More facts & information about phosphorous around the Web:
Phosphorus - Good overview of its function in partnership with calcium and Vitamin D, a list of its benefits including the strengthening of muscle tissue and nerve impulses, results of phosphorous deficiency, low level risks, good food sources, recommended daily allowance and signs of toxicity.
Phosphorus & Sodium - With a discussion of phosphorus' benefits to muscle contraction and proper nerve conduction along with risks of deficiency and toxicity, interactions with other
nutrients, food sources.